Dating can be a tricky business.
The world is full of amazing people and exciting romantic possibilities – but we can’t just pluck a favourite from the hundreds we walk past each day. And, when we do summon up the courage to ask someone out, there’s no guarantee they’ll say yes (it’s not you, it’s them).
The uncertainty of dating in real life might be why dating apps and websites have become so popular. In 2018, 41% of singles had tried online dating. And with the current population of singles clocking in at around 670 million people, the age-old adage continues to ring true (yes, that annoying fish-in-the-sea-one they keep bringing up after every breakup).
The problem with online dating, though, is that your prospective match is hidden beyond your screen. Sure, you might get a few matches, but you never really know if you’re saying and doing all the right things to attract the right sort of attention.
We’ve created a guide to help you secure your perfect match when online dating. We asked Britain’s dating public to tell us what they like to see on dating profiles (and what they don’t want to see). The result? We’ve figured out how to create the ultimate, best-in-class dating profile that’s guaranteed to get you an extra special match or three (results may vary).
While you’re busy tweaking your profile, make sure to keep these three tips in mind so you can make the most of your dating app adventure (shout out to James Preece, online dating coach extraordinaire for his help):
1. Put your best foot forward
When you’re writing your dating bio or choosing photos for your profile, it’s only natural you’d try to present the best version of you. But, according to our survey of dating Brits, there are some aspects of your character you might want to minimise on dating sites, including being a smoker, drinking more than the average person and being gym-obsessed.
That’s not to say you need to lie about having any of those traits – honesty is important, after all. So, whatever you have to say about yourself, “keep everything positive,” says James. “Viewers will make snap judgements based on the language you use, so keep everything upbeat to be more appealing.”
2. Don’t rush through your profile
If you’re one of those people that have a ‘Dating Apps’ folder in their phone, you’re not alone. James says many people are on multiple sites and apps at any one time – three on average. “It’s better to focus on one at a time,” says James, although once you’ve gotten to know how one works properly, you can add another to your repertoire.
Each time you create a new profile, though, take your time crafting your profile (you’re putting your best foot forward, after all). “People tend to rush through creating their profile as quickly as possible,” says James. The downside is that “most profiles are completely unengaging, too short or crammed full of clichés.
If you don’t stand out from your competition, you will be left disappointed.” Just like in relationships, going the extra mile makes all the difference on dating apps.
3. Date beyond your dating app
You’ve got every dating app under the sun, you’ve spent hours honing every aspect of your profile, and you’re-still-single! Before you swear-off dating altogether (the hermit look is in these days, you tell yourself), consider widening your dating pool. Singles shouldn’t rely on dating apps as their only way to meet people, warns James.
“Go out and talk to new people in real life,” he says, noting that “more and more people are seeking out matchmaking events where you get to meet prospective matches in person before you’ve even asked them out.”
However – and whoever – you choose to date, present the best version of you, stay upbeat, and put in a respectable effort at every stage. Follow our tips above, and it’ll hopefully make the task of finding someone you’re willing to spend a glorious few hours (or even years) with that much simpler.